The Last Digital Frontier Brian Asingia Book The Pearl Dream Inc

Africa: Courts Cannot Run South Africa and Most Certainly Cannot Fix Eskom

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A central feature of any legal system which adheres to the rule of law is compliance with the principle of certainty. A capricious system in which rules can be changed at the whim of an executive destroys the very fabric of the legal system.

To that extent, the judgment delivered on behalf of a unanimous full bench of the Pretoria High Court by Mr Justice Norman Davis promoted predictability of result.

In summary, the approach to policy decisions taken by the executive followed closely his legal direction encapsulated in his judgment which set aside the declaration of disaster pursuant to the Covid 19 pandemic.

In this recent judgment, Judge Davis ordered the government to ensure an uninterrupted electricity supply to all government hospitals, clinics, schools and police stations. To the order this column shall return presently, but the justification for the order requires initial attention. The take-home point from this case is that few emerge with unqualified credit.

The judgment followed an application brought by the UDM and certain other political and civic organisations to the effect that government, with Eskom, had violated entrenched constitutional rights by implementing load shedding which significantly jeopardised the delivery of hospitals, clinics, schools and police stations; in particular, some 85 police stations, 93 hospitals and 23,000 schools had been significantly affected by load shedding.

In successfully bringing this application, these applicants are now the recipient of the order which has given Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan 60…

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